Read Mark 15:33-41
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’
How many people were watching the crucifixion of Jesus as they had so many others, out of morbid fascination? The scribes and Pharisees were gloating over their supposed victory – “He saved others, let him save himself!” Most of the soldiers were drunk in an attempt to drown the horror of what they were called to do. Even those followers of Jesus who attended were stood at a distance. Yet one man recognised in that moment who Jesus was, and spoke out the words, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Jesus died so that we could look differently at ourselves, at those around us, our neighbourhoods and our world. We are called to recognise not only the reality of a world without God, but also the possibilities when people throw themselves on God’s mercy, accept the forgiveness of Jesus and live in the power of the Spirit.
Sing: When I survey the wondrous cross
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Pray “the Grace”:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with me evermore.
If we mean this prayer, it should make a difference to us.
Pray that people may see God at work in you and want to know him for themselves.